Legendary artist S H Raza passes away at 94

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New Delhi: Modern Indian artist Syed Haider Raza died here on Saturday following a prolonged illness. He was 94.

Raza was suffering from old-age related ailments and was in the ICU of a private hospital for the last two months.

Syed Haider Raza was born in Babaria in Mandla district, Madhya Pradesh to deputy forest ranger Sayed Mohammed Razi and Tahira Begum. He took to drawing at the age of 12 and studied further at the Nagpur School of Art, followed by J J School of Art in Bombay.

He moved to France in 1950 to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts on a French government scholarship. He travelled across Europe, and continued to live and exhibit his work in Paris. He was later awarded the Prix de la critique in Paris in 1956, becoming the first non-French artist to receive that honour. He also received the highest French civilian honour, the Legion of Honour, on July 14, 2015.

He co-founded the revolutionary Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group along with K H Ara and F N Souza. Raza’s works were mainly abstracts in oil or acrylic with vivid colours. A seminal work of his, Saurashtra, was sold for Rs 16.42 crore at a Christie’s auction in June 2010.

“The end came at 11 am,” poet Ashok Vajpeyi, who was a close friend of the artist, said.

The last rites will be conducted in Mandla, according to his wishes.

An internationally acclaimed painter, Raza was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1981. He was elected as fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1983.

 

 

 

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